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Your New Blue - O'Hare Branch Rehab

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Electric substations.

Only reference was in this Press Release to "traction power upgrades."

This could end up like the Brown Line; the New Start announcement said that the electric substations had to be upgraded to be adequate for 8 car trains, but the 2013 construction reports state that the Armitage and Hill St.* ones are now being rebuilt. So, I guess we'll have to wait if they ever publish construction reports in 2014-2018.

Also, reading today's article, and also rereading that press release indicates that I might have previously misconstrued the scope of the signal project, as it is apparently the 30 year old bidirectional signals between Jefferson Park and O'Hare, as opposed to the couple of year old signals on the rest of the Blue Line as part of the Kennedy-Congress-Block 37 project.

I also think that today's article was the first to mention turnback track changes to facilitate short turns at UIC and Jefferson Park.

____

*Not of Hill Street Blues, which was on Maxwell St., but near Payton Academy.

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Well folks, let the rehabs begins. California station will be closed on weekends starting March 21st. Here's the rest of what's going on in the future: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-getting-around-cta-blue-line-renovation-met-022-20140224,0,2203386.column

I don't know about this column. As much as it explains things there are questions. So they are only going to do line cuts for 7 weeks only? And what exactly does that achieve/complete? California, Western and Damen? CTa has proven they can upgrade the tracks without a line cut by what they just did this weekend, so that doesn't sound like a concern. Kiewit has had tons of other projects to learn from and is most likely very efficient at this by now.

If CTA were using their noodle, they would rebuild the elevated stations in a way that all they would need to do is install elevator towers and return to these elevated stations when funding is available.

The dearborn subway trackage seems ok so I don't know why they would retrack that. It's the stations that need heavy rehab down there.

The article talks about running shuttles. Because the line borders Milwaukee, they should beef up the #56 service. Like for me personally why wait for a train/shuttle/train when a bus will get you passed the affected zone. Plus anyone coming from the west has the chance to take the #56 and not have to travel the extra mile to the train station. So then riders have alternates.

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My impression was that the listed line cuts were only for fixing the track on the Milwaukee elevated.

Personally, I would have done something similar to what was done on the Pink Line, which was build new columns under the L and then do a cut to remove the old tracks and put a new track section on the new columns, but the time frame indicates that "Governor Pat Quinn" didn't "give" the CTA enough money to do that.

But given all the 4 to 2 track closures on the Red/Purple, maybe the only way they can fix the tracks is getting new track panels up there, and they probably do not want to run bidirectionally on one rickety track.

I agree that the shuttles are not especially clear; it may be an issue of just running a shuttle between Logan Square and Western, but, maybe like the Red Line South, maybe they figure that that will inconvenience passengers too much, so they might run from various stations to Western. I guess we'll have to wait.

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My impression on the shuttles is that it would be similar to how they set up weekend shuttles during recent shutdowns of sections of the south Green Line last year even though the State Street bus parallels much of the South Side Main. I'm sure they're going on the thought of why beef up service on a complete bus route as replacement of one section of rail line that only serves three stations. There is also that factor of the extra #56 buses still have to serve local bus stops when a shuttle bus could stop only where a station is place and therefore move relatively faster than that #56 bus could.

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Well, will 4 years of construction equal to a better ride on the O'Hare Branch? Kind of wish the Congress Branch was getting a "Lite" Rehabilitation to keep it maintained but apparently CTA has a grandeur vision for that branch. Can't wait to see this project unfold. But i do agree with remarks of that branch receiving the Full Shutdown which proved to be a success for southside residents

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Well, will 4 years of construction equal to a better ride on the O'Hare Branch? Kind of wish the Congress Branch was getting a "Lite" Rehabilitation to keep it maintained but apparently CTA has a grandeur vision for that branch....

The issue on the Congress is that IDOT appears to be the lead agency for the corridor.

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My impression on the shuttles is that it would be similar to how they set up weekend shuttles during recent shutdowns of sections of the south Green Line last year even though the State Street bus parallels much of the South Side Main. I'm sure they're going on the thought of why beef up service on a complete bus route as replacement of one section of rail line that only serves three stations. There is also that factor of the extra #56 buses still have to serve local bus stops when a shuttle bus could stop only where a station is place and therefore move relatively faster than that #56 bus could.

The point is you could be moving instead of loading unloading twice during the rail commute. Remember how we talked about spiking ridership last year on the #29. Well that may happen again with the #56. A couple extra buses can't hurt in addition to the shuttles could it?

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The point is you could be moving instead of loading unloading twice during the rail commute. Remember how we talked about spiking ridership last year on the #29. Well that may happen again with the #56. A couple extra buses can't hurt in addition to the shuttles could it?

That may be, but that's apples and oranges in that the difference here is we're talking about bus replacements for a much shorter section of rail service that as I mentioned covers service for only three stations. So beefing up the 56 still wouldn't necessarily be an efficient use of bus for this purpose. Plus you have to factor in that there was a level of mistrust built up by the Green Line rehab project from 20 years ago that CTA had to get past with south side riders. That's why you had so many folks mistrustful of the Red Line shuttles and still deciding instead to pack into the #29 to the point that that route needed to be beefed up. Somehow I don't think Wicker Park and Logan Square area passengers are going to be looking to crowd into the #56. They're going to want an option that adds the least amount of extra time to their commutes, which I don't see the #56 fitting that description. They'll be wanting a shuttle that bypasses most of the 8 or 9 local stops between Logan Square and Western.

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You should try opening the image in Preview (in the Applications folder) and rotating it there.

If I open the images in Preview, they appear righted already. It's just this site that flips them for some reason.

Today I noticed the CTA Tattler found a press release that announced the project would start earlier than expected. If this has a cascading effect, then what BusHunter posted last might be connected to the work being sped up.

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If I open the images in Preview, they appear righted already. It's just this site that flips them for some reason.

Today I noticed the CTA Tattler found a press release that announced the project would start earlier than expected. If this has a cascading effect, then what BusHunter posted last might be connected to the work being sped up.

The newspaper stories cited earlier today are undoubtedly based on the news release. Maybe Hilkevitch got some inside access as the release was being released.

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Now the Redeye explains the timeline a little better with more clarity. Since there doesn't seem to be a viewable link yet I scanned in a scan of it.

attachicon.gifScan0006.jpg

Also the CTA just added a few more pictures on it's facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/thecta

Hey, that's not far!!! I was about to do that after I've read that at Forest Park!!!! You must read my mind or something lol!!! I'm kidding but it's sucks to wait two years for the turnbacks to be reconstructed.

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Hey, that's not far!!! I was about to do that after I've read that at Forest Park!!!! You must read my mind or something lol!!! I'm kidding but it's sucks to wait two years for the turnbacks to be reconstructed.

Turnbacks are being constructed this year. It's the kennedy leg that is last. I was interested in how addison is going to turn out. I wonder will it close for the weekend or longer than that. It's only getting an elevator and I don't see how they can keep that station open.

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Turnbacks are being constructed this year. It's the kennedy leg that is last. I was interested in how addison is going to turn out. I wonder will it close for the weekend or longer than that. It's only getting an elevator and I don't see how they can keep that station open.

Oh boy, I really misread it. My mistake but only Addison getting a new elevator?

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@ CTA Customer Service: Thank you for your inquiry. Flyers will be available in the next two weeks; an exact date is not yet available. This project will not result in service changes that require a new map. Bus timetable changes for the Spring bus pick go into effect on March 30th. The exact routes are not yet available. The schedule adjustments will not be affected by Your New Blue

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This week Kiewit has been stacking up supplies. Ties and whatnot in two lots they have acquisitioned around the KFC at California Milwaukee. I guess next week is there big week. This week they are supposed to demolish the bridge over Milwaukee on the bloomingdale trail so alot of interesting stuff is going on on Milwaukee avenue.

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Looking into the Kiewit storage yards on the blue line just east of California/Milwaukee shows they already have wooden catwalks assembled in about 6-10 foot sections. I thought I read that these would be metal like the Cermak branch has. They are marking ties in orange paint just north of California and the whole section from Logan Square portal to Western/Milwaukee yesterday was under a 15 mph restriction. I couldn't help but notice on CTA's site that this closure will be only this weekend resuming I believe in a couple months here, and that they will be moving to between Western/Milw. and Damen/Milw. for the next 3 or 4 closures (next one on April 4th). This year just seems to be updating the Milwaukee avenue tracks. With no closure expected as of yet for Damen/Milw. to Division I'm assuming the tracks are OK there.

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This is one of the Foster Avenue Turnback Selectors that I've spotted around 2am @ Jefferson Park.

I actually saw something like that at UIC-Halsted back in November-December on the Forest Park bound track. It's located by the big Peoria entrance.

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I actually saw something like that at UIC-Halsted back in November-December on the Forest Park bound track. It's located by the big Peoria entrance.

I didn't pay attention to see if they're upgrade to the new ones yet.

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How does this affect my trip?

Beginning Sunday, March 30, updated schedules will go into effect for several bus routes. Most routes continue to have the same frequency and span of service, but arrival times may change up to a few minutes. Routes with more extensive changes to hours of service are marked with a *.

The following bus routes will have new schedules in effect:

  • 1 Bronzeville/Union Station
  • 2 Hyde Park Exp.
  • 3 King Drive
  • 8 Halsted
  • J14 Jeffery Jump
  • 15 Jeffery Local
  • 20 Madison
  • 22 Clark
  • 24 Wentworth
  • 28 Stony Island
  • 36 Broadway
  • 37 Sedgwick
  • 47 47th
  • 49 Western
  • 52A South Kedzie
  • 53A South Pulaski
  • 54B South Cicero
  • 66 Chicago
  • 70 Division
  • 72 North
  • 74 Fullerton
  • 76 Diversey*
  • 94 South California
  • 134 Stockton/LaSalle Exp.
  • 135 Clarendon/LaSalle Exp.
  • 143 Stockton/Michigan Exp.
  • 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Exp.
  • 151 Sheridan

Your New Blue (Milwaukee Elevated Flyer) March 19th, 2014.pdf

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